Japan Airlines' new high-speed floating vehicle, which runs with little noise and vibration and no exhaust fumes, made its first manned test run at Kawasaki near Tokyo on Tuesday (9 May).
S& & CU EXTERIOR & INTERIOR OF: Train. (3 SHOTS)
SV: people entering train, sitting down and hood closed. (3 SHOTS)
GV: Train pulls away.
INTERIOR TRAVELLING SHOT: Train along track.
GV PAN: Train along track. spectators watch. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN & SV: Train reversing down track and peoples getting out. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: Japan Airlines' new high-speed floating vehicle, which runs with little noise and vibration and no exhaust fumes, made its first manned test run at Kawasaki near Tokyo on Tuesday (9 May).
SYNOPSIS: The high-speed train has been developed by Japan Airlines to carry passengers between main airports and cities. It is expected to be in commercial used within five years.
The unique feature of the train, apart from its speed, is the way it is powered. It is guided by a concrete rail, powered by linear induction motors and suspended in the air above metal rails, on a magnetic cushion.
Riding this train of the future is literally like floating on air. The magnets suspend the train in the air above the track. An unmanned prototype achieved a stunning speed of 308 kilometres per hour (191 miles per hour) last year, but the reporters who travelled aboard the train on Tuesday were whizzed along at a gentle 100 kilometres per hour (62 MPH). In service it will seat 120 people.
And the High Speed Surface Transport, HSST for short, is almost silent. Apart from the soft hum of the electro-magnets, engineers claim that at 25 yards, (23 metres) not a sound can be heard as it speeds by.
The HSST will be put into service between Japan's new International airport at Narita and Tokyo city centre in the early 1980s. Japan Airlines say it will cut the 64 kilometre (40 mile) journey from the present two to three hours by car to only 14 minutes. By the time the service opens, it will have cost the equivalent of a staggering 888-million Dollars. Its design is based on West German research and was developed by the airline as the result of widespread protest demonstrations against the vibration and noise problems caused by conventional trains. Demonstrators blocked the Government's attempts to build a conventional express line between Tokyo and the new Narita airport.